Life is an evolution. You can't make moves, staying still. The story of GLOW
Let me set the tone for you, by saying I started my esthetics journey before iPhones and Instagram were put on this planet. Which sadly means I don't have pictures from the beginning of my journey, trust me I even tried to find my old Myspace account but sadly no luck.
So here is Kasey, 19 years old fresh out of esthetics school, who boldly moves out of her parents house. Spa RECEPTIONIST by day and waitress by night, shout out to Mimi’s cafe. As you can see, I was not balling out with packed days full of facials, being the #girlboss yet. I was broke as shit and not even working in the treatment room yet because, hey I just needed a JOB and at least they hired me at the spa with a promise to *maybe* get a chance in the treatment room, which did happen about 6-8 months in but girlllll let me tell you. I had ONE client that would come see me regularly, there wasn't much training or guidance on how this whole esthetician thing worked. Soooo I said, there has to be more and that’s when I landed a job as a Medical Assistant and RECEPTIONIST in a LA Medical Spa. Again with the promise that *maybe* I’d get to eventually work in that treatment room, and with enough time and patience that promise was fulfilled. By now I am 20 years old, working in the treatment room part time and learning the ins and outs of how a biz is run. Learning medical spa treatments and getting some major hands on experience with everything from waxing, lash extensions, medical grade peels, diamond tip microdermabrasion (remember kids this is a time PRE-social media and before the fabulous HYDRO-dermabrasions was a THOUGHT!) Fast forward to a few years later and some major personal struggles later, I was 23 and let go from the Medical Spa.
I had been toying around with the idea of starting to work for myself before I had been let go. Since I felt I was overworked, underpaid and under-appreciated, and always KNEW I would own a biz one day, since I was a kid. Shout out to my Dad for being my number one inspiration when it came to being a biz owner. So I was let go on a Tuesday and by Thursday I’m at Bank of America opening up a business bank account. I then quickly find a room for rent.
Another funny side story. I met with Lori Crete on my search for a room to rent and I'll never forget she looked at me and said “Even if you don't rent my room, I know you’ll do great things” and well she was right. I didn’t rent a room but I do believe Great things are happening.
Anyhow, I wind up running into an old friend who I went to esthetician school with and she tells me that she has been renting a room, is making a fortune and there is a room at her salon that is available. I head to the busy salon, hair in the front and spa rooms in the back. It’s perfect and guess what? I already know someone which feels like a small security blanket.
I rent the room inside the salon for 1 ½ year. When I start I have no idea how room rental works and am literally just playing it by ear. I call all my old clients and tell them hey i'm in the Valley now, if you know the LA area that is considered FAR from the LA hub, but i'm in luck I have established enough of a relationship with a few of the clients that they are willing to make the drive OR ta-da! they happen to live in the Valley. Coincidence or meant to be, you choose. While i'm barely making ends meet, I start running groupon ads, and hustling in the front of the salon trying to score some of the hair stylist clients. Remember, now I am 23 and it is 2011 and, I think instagram might have launched but we don't really know WTF it is. A place to post pics? Ok, ugh cool.
Anyhow, now I'm a slave to my treatment room, thanks groupon and I actually am so busy I need to hire help. Lucky me, I hire a friend, who I met waitressing, who also happens to be an esthetician. We bust our butts and are making money but now I don't like the noise of the blow dryers and I want more creative control. So here I go again, seeking MORE, seeking change. I start looking at commercial real estate. I have no idea what i'm doing but I find this place, it's perfect! A block from Ventura blvd, has built in rooms with plumbing and for some reason the landlord gives little old me a chance.
I spend every dime I have plus $1500 of my parents (thanks Mom and Dad) and OPEN my first SPA! I bring the friend I hire plus my other esthetics school friend. They both rent rooms from me and HELP pay the rent. I'm still a slave to the treatment room. Renters + employees come in and out as I learn how to navigate running and managing a biz.
Are you tired yet?
Now I am 25, I've been a business owner for 2 years and in strolls Lorena Ashmore. I agreed to bring her on because well hey! She seemed cool and motivated and we had a mutual friend. She starts questioning what we are doing. Let’s get uniforms, we can't work like this until we are 40, always pushing me to think outside of the box. She goes on to launch Dear Lash Love, Lash Love Apparel at the time and continues, for some reason to stay by my side. Her line takes off and so does her INSTAGRAM. I have no idea how she's doing it, and I don't know if she fully does either but her IG and BIz are taking off! She offers to post on mine because she thinks it could help, again neither of us know exactly what we are doing but we are trying!
More renters and employees come in and OUT, including my sister, Hailey. At the top of my game I have 13 renters and it's a shit show. We skincare, lashes, waxing, micro-blading, nails and who the heck knows what else.
Then one day I feel a shift, my landlord isn't being clear and then BOOM the building is sold and these new guys stroll in. The space I was leasing was BIG about 1500 sq ft but I shared the building with a gym and then new gym owners were also my new landlords. Not even a proper introduction was had and all of sudden they (illegally) go into Glow and start rummaging around. I knew something was up. They tell me eventually they want to be in my space but again NOT CLEAR. Finally after months of wishy washy I ask to sit down with them and tell me what's going on. I tell them- “Look, I know i'm a young female biz owner but this is my livelihood and I deserve to know what is REALLY going on.” They say you have 6 months to get out or we are doubling your rent.
If you know me, you know I work faster than lightning. I find a new space. I have to downsize though. Which was hard to tell my renters but it was what had to be done for me and my biz to survive, plus let's be honest I was over the shit show.
That brings me to the Glow Skincare that most of you know and love. Glow Skincare LA 3.0 Tucked away in Toluca Lake, CA. I got engaged and married in that space to Brandon. I hired and fired more renters and employees. But guess who always stuck by my side, Lorena. She by now had her own Lash studio but was still renting a room from me a few days a month, she just couldn't leave me and i'm so grateful for that.
After Brandon and I get back from our honeymoon I have one of those AH-HA moments! We had been traveling the world and sharing our travels on Instagram. Everyone loved it, but I looked at myself and said wait. Yea, it's cool that we were traveling the world and I could share but what if I put that energy into my WORK instagram instead of my personal and I guess you could say the rest was history. A Lot of work, a lot of trial and error and A LOT of growth. I created my first product, I had influencer and celebrity clients coming in. Lorena and I launched Beauty Biz Bffs Podcast and business was BOOMING!
Then, March 16, 2020 hit me like a ton of bricks. I closed down Glow Skincare due to Covid-19 and thought ok, I can get through this. It’s only a moment in time. Which, let’s be honest it is, but it is a really HARD moment in time. I did everything I could, found work for myself and my employees. Donated money and time to make sure everyone could survive. Until I couldn't anymore. I had to let my employees go and realized my career was going in a different direction and no longer needed the space I was in.
So here we are. Lorena is my ride or die and proved that by offering to share her space with me! Can we say full circle? I jumped at the opportunity and know in my heart and gut this was meant to be. NO, i'm not stepping fully out of the treatment room, NO I’m not Sad. Yes, its bitter sweet but life is an evolution. You can't make moves, staying still. I’m excited! This was always the end goal to have more time and freedom, and be able to stay creative in all aspects of my biz. The only way I am able to do that is to make Kasey a priority, so I can, in return, do more for you! My community. My passion has to always help people look and feel better and now I can do that not only in the treatment room but for the entire beauty community.
As you can see this has been one hell of a ride and it's not over yet! Thank you to each and everyone of you who has come in for a facial, bought a product, listened to the podcast and sent your incredibly kind words, I love you all so much. Keep Glowing and enjoy YOUR journey.